We're coming off of, or at least we've had a period of (because who knows about the future) thirty plus years of conservative dominance of Washington. By some measures you could say forty years. But at least thirty, notwithstanding Bill Clinton's eight years in office. That conditions a generation of people with mindsets based around Republicans being the party of power, the party whose ideas get vindicated at the polls. Most of all Washington is a city that coddles up to and worships power. But a generation of one party holding the reins selects for certain kinds of journalists in key positions of power, the policy experts at the think tanks who get the journalists calls, the lobbyists who move the most money and so forth. You build up a set of assumptions about what kinds of people and ideas are respectable and which aren't. Which are old-fashioned, which are 'cutting edge' and so forth. Who defines conventional wisdom?Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. There is a corollary for journalists: the unexamined lede isn't worth promulgating. Accepting the assumptions of the conservative power structure as common sense leads to unexamined ledes, and it jades journalism against progressive sensibilities.
In all of these respects, DC remains overwhelmingly wired for the GOP.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Josh Marshall breaks it down: